I have hired many contractors over the years, many on an ongoing basis.
I needed to get a new website designed (Wordpress). I interviewed a couple of people and ended up selecting a candidate from Germany (or so I thought) who had many hours logged and good feedback.
We communicated back and forth and I checked his IP. It all seemed kosher so he started work on my project on his own server.
I always checked his weekly time logs and all seemed to be moving along quite nicely.
As the project was drawing to a close. He disappeared. While he had done the work on the time logs I had no access to it. I was $2500 down. ODESK said they would investigate. I quickly found out that the developer I thought I hired did not exist and was in fact a scammer from India employing some one else through ODESK to do the project for a cheaper rate. He never paid the other developer either. ODESK market place team would not respond to my emails. Whenever I called they always expressed surprise that no one had contacted me back and told me they would get Ailene to call me back urgently. Alas the elusive Ailene never called.
Eventually after about 60 days I get an email telling me that they are sorry that the 10% of my project was not completed. Completely wrong, I did not get ANYTHING from the scammer. They offered me a paltry $100 in compensation. What action did they take I wondered? Could they do a charge back? The answer to the first question is they emailed the SCAM ARTIST and he didn't reply (funny that).
I replied asking Ailene to call me on Monday as once again ODESK was not grasping the fact that the developer left me with nothing. Of course no call was forth coming but 8 days later I got a fake automatic reply from the usual firstname.lastname@example.org saying 'This email is not monitored. Do not hit reply'. It is amazing that is the very same email address that I had been communicating with to Ailene previously. Also as everyone knows automatic emails do not take 8 days to come through.
So I am down $2500, ODESK don't care, the scammer is no doubt back on ODESK under a different alias ready to part you with your money.
I am really sorry and ashamed of this kinda freelancer behaviour. Its really sad that you lost lots of money.For that type of freelancer, we are lost job. We are lost faith.I know in future you are never going to hire India freelancer any-more.
But for that type of freelancer will not survive . God will punish them of course. I have nothing to say right now .
But I am praying for you that you can overcome your lost money. And find a trustworthy freelancer. And I also pray Odesk will help you.
best of luck.